What happens when you make a complaint?

The first thing we will want to do is to talk with you to get a better understanding of your concerns.

If your complaint is about the safety of a child we’ll tell our social services team about your concerns, and we’ll let you know that we’ve done this.

If you are complaining on behalf of a child or another person, we may not be able to provide you with any details about how we’re looking into the matter, as it will be confidential.

The children’s social care complaints procedure has three stages:

Stage One - investigation and resolution

we receive your complaint, we’ll contact you within three working days, either by telephone, email or in writing, to let you know we’ve received it.

We will then:

  • talk to you about your complaint and find out what you want us to do to put it right
  • agree with you the timescale for dealing with it
  • keep you updated on progress throughout your complaint
  • make sure that you get a full written response from the person who’s dealing with your complaint

If you are under 18 years old, an advocate who is separate and independent from our services can offer you one-to-one support. They will listen to your concerns, help give you advice about the complaints process and speak up for you in situations where you don’t feel able to speak for yourself.

Stage Two - formal investigation

If you’re not happy with the outcome of the stage one investigation, you can ask the complaints manager for a formal investigation into the matter.

As part of this stage of your complaint we will:

  • ask you why you weren’t satisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with and about any issues that you think still haven’t been addressed
  • bring in two independent complaints investigating officers to look into your complaint
  • agree a timeline for looking into the matter

We will then write to you within 65 working days to tell you:

  • what we found
  • why the decisions were reached
  • what the Trust has decided to do about it
Stage Three - review panel hearing

Receive a letter telling you the outcome of stage two. If you are not happy with the way it has been investigated or you don’t agree with our response you can ask for your complaint to be heard by a review panel. We will send you details in your letter as to how to go about this– just let us know within 20 working days of receiving the letter if you want to go ahead with a review panel.

A review panel is not a tribunal and it doesn’t take place in a court. It is a meeting for yourself and the people who have been involved in dealing with your complaint. The purpose of the review panel is to see if it’s possible to come up with a solution to your complaint. The panel will make some recommendations.

The complaints manager will provide you with more information about how the panel meeting works when it has been arranged.

Are there any other ways to complain?

Yes. You can contact:

If you aren’t happy with how we’ve dealt with your complaint, you have the right to ask the Local Government Ombudsman to look into the matter for you.

You can find out more about the Local Government Ombudsman and how to get in touch with them on their website.



“When I met with them, they were very complimentary about the support they’d had from you and the Trust in general. “

Safeguarding Children's Board

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